Panther Den Trail Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"In 1990 the US Congress designated southern Illinois’s Panther Den as a wilderness area. Of the Panther Den Wilderness Area’s 1,195 acres, the Shawnee National Forest manages 1,081 acres and the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge manages the remaining acreage. The 160-mile River-to-River Trail runs through the Panther Den Wilderness Area and is the trail that receives the most recognition. However, the several trails that support and branch off of the River-to-River Trail offer some amazing opportunities.
Hikers choosing the Panther Den Trail are in for a treat, as they will soon come into an area once believed to have been a large waterway that over time has created a hikers’ playground. The Panther Den Trail is a quick, 2.8-mile, out-and-back hike that leaves plenty of time to explore a remarkable maze of 70-foot-high cliffs in which huge blocks have split off from one another to create a network of crevices, passageways, and cave-like “rooms.”"